The United States left the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan after almost twenty years by shutting down the electricity and leave at night without notifying the new Afghan commander, who discovered the departure of Americans more than two hours after they left, according to Afghan military officials. The Afghan army took over the extensive air base Monday, providing a rare initial sign of what had been the epicenter of U.S. forces in the war to remove the Taliban and capture the al-Qaida culprits of the September 11 attacks on America.
On Friday, the United States announced that it had completely left its biggest airfield Bagram in Afghanistan in advance of an ultimate removal, and according to Pentagon, it will be completed by the August end. General Mir Asadullah Kohistani, the new commander of Bagram airbase, said that they heard some gossip that the U.S. troops left Bagram. At last, by 7’o clock in the morning, they finally understood that the Americans already left the airfield.
The Onion, almost exactly a decade ago: “U.S. Quietly Slips Out Of Afghanistan In Dead Of Night”
Associated Press, today: “US left Afghan airfield at night, didn’t tell new commander” pic.twitter.com/uBYJtmFKG5
— Ben Brockert (@wikkit) July 6, 2021
Col. Sonny Leggett, the spokesperson of the U.S. military, didn’t address the specific complaints of several Afghan soldiers who inherited the unrestrained airfield, instead referring to a statement last a few days back. The statement further said that the handover of the several bases had been in the process soon after the mid-April announcement of U.S. President Joe Biden that American forces were completely withdrawing from the country. On the other hand, Leggett said they had deeply coordinated with the Afghan leaders about their departure.
Small Army of Looters Invaded the Airfield Before Afghan Army’s Take Over
Before the Afghan army could take over the U.S. left Bagram airfield, a small army of looters attacked it and looted barrack after barrack and searched through huge storage tents before their eviction, according to the statement from the Afghan military officials. Abdul Raouf, a soldier of ten years, said that initially, they thought maybe they were Taliban. Further, he said that the United States called from Kabul airport and told them that they are at the Kabul airport after vacating the airfield.
The Bagram airfield also includes a prison with around five thousand prisoners, several of them allegedly Taliban. Furthermore, the latest surge of Taliban comes as the last United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces pull out of Afghanistan. As of last week, several of the coalition forces troops already left quietly. Whereas the last U.S. soldiers are probably to remain until the happening of a pact to protect the Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport, which is expected to do with the collaboration of Turkey.
According to Kohistan, the United States left behind 3.5 million items, all documented by the departing American military. They include tens of thousands of water bottles, ready-made military meals (MRE’s), and energy drinks. He said that when you say 3.5 million items, it includes every small item such as every doorknob, every door or window in every barracks, and every phone.
Likewise, the big-ticket items left behind at Bagram airfield include thousands of civilian vehicles, several of them without keys to start them. It also includes hundreds of armored vehicles. Departing U.S. troops took heavy weapons with them, but they left behind small weapons and ammunition for them.